Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Other Woman, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (September 4 2012 release date)

This was my first time reading anything by Hank Phillippi Ryan (a name which greatly intrigues me, by the way) and was interested to see how the author's background in politics, media, and reporting entered into a novel that promised to be about all of the above. The copy I read was an Advanced Reader copy of the book from Tor (thank you very much, by the way.)

It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of the book and sort the characters all out. Once I found the rhythm of the story, I could begin to appreciate the conflicts and drive that fills the main character Jane.  She'd been a rising star reporter for a Boston TV station, until her unwillingness to reveal a source lost a huge court case, and cost the station a passel of money and Jane her job. (Darn that integrity. It can turn around and kick you in the arse. But at least you've kept your integrity.)

Jane ends up working at a city tabloid, where instead of chasing the big story of the day (is there a serial killer loose in Boston, slaying women and leaving them near bridges), she's sent off to do a fluff piece on the wife of one of the candidates running for office. Except Jane may have stumbled on a bigger story -- does this same candidate have another woman in the background?

To complicate matters, for both Jane's emotional heart, and a few other things, the cop working on the "there is no bridge killer say the police" case is Jake, Jane's forbidden heartthrob.  Forbidden, because even though they both lust after each other and know it, to be involved could and would compromise their jobs. (Darn that integrity again!)

There are more twists, people who aren't what they seem, and several very attractive blonde young women who seem to be making a play for the candidate (who coincidentally is the ex-Governor.)

I followed those twists and turns, anticipated a few, got annoyed that one of the main characters seemed to be mobile phones ringing and texts pinging -- what did we do in the age before all this electronic communication? I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the romantic aspects of the story -- those rang less true to me than other parts. I wasn't quite sure if I should be rooting for Jake (aka Jakey when she's mooning about him) or Alex (her new boss that her friend calls "Sexy Alex") or someone entirely else. 

All in all, I did learn a some interesting things about media and politics, as well as a bit more about dysfunctional relationships, unstable, unscrupulous people, and some of the more seedy aspects of our society. I'm glad I read this book, and will look for more by this author with a name that fascinates me. She's apparently got an award-winning series under her pen already, which I will have to explore.  I expect this book is the first in a new series featuring Jane and friends.

(3 out of 5 stars)

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